The Cleveland Indians are on a tear and they attempt to keep it going when they visit the American League Central-leading Kansas City Royals in Friday's opener of the three-game series. Cleveland has won 11 of its last 16 and is suddenly four games behind Detroit and Seattle in the wild-card race and 5 1/2 games behind the Royals. Kansas City leads second-place Detroit by 1 1/2 games after falling 11-5 in 10 innings to Minnesota on Thursday.The Indians lost three of four in Kansas City in late July and later lost four consecutive games in early August before beginning their run Aug. 9. Center fielder Michael Bourn had two triples among his three hits in Cleveland's 3-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on Thursday and is 9-for-22 during a five-game hitting streak. Royals left fielder Alex Gordon homered in Thursday's loss - his fifth in 11 games and eighth in August.TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, STO (Cleveland), FSN Kansas CityPITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Danny Salazar (4-6, 4.52 ERA) vs. Royals LH Jason Vargas (10-6, 3.17)Salazar received a no-decision against Houston on Saturday when he gave up two runs (one earned) and three hits in six innings. He picked up the victory in Kansas City on July 27 when he gave up three runs and seven hits in seven innings to improve his career mark against the Royals to 1-2 with a 5.71 ERA. Salazar is 2-4 with a 5.60 ERA in seven road starts.Vargas lost to Texas in his last outing when he gave up three runs (two earned) and 11 hits in six innings. The rough start followed two excellent ones as Vargas allowed one run and seven hits in 16 innings while beating Oakland and Minnesota. Vargas is 1-0 with a 3.29 ERA in two starts against Cleveland and owns a 3-2 mark and 4.71 ERA in seven career outings.WALK-OFFS 1. Royals 1B Billy Butler, who reached base four times in Thursday's loss, is 5-for-8 with three doubles against Salazar.2. Cleveland OFs Michael Brantley (2-for-14) and David Murphy (2-for-24) have struggled against Vargas.3. Kansas City 2B Omar Infante (shoulder) is expected to return to the lineup after missing the previous three games.PREDICTION: Indians 6, Royals 4